One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History

The Legendary 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews Card: A Baseball Treasure

Eddie Mathews, one of the most prolific third basemen in baseball history, graced the sport with his remarkable talent during the 1950s and 1960s. A key figure in the baseball world, Mathews' fame extends beyond his achievements on the field, thanks to his sought-after 1952 Topps rookie card. This article will delve into the life and career of Eddie Mathews, his impressive statistics, and the value of his iconic baseball card.

Eddie Mathews: A Baseball Legend

Born on October 13, 1931, in Texarkana, Texas, Edwin Lee Mathews Jr. was destined to make an indelible mark on the world of baseball. Eddie Mathews started his professional career with the then-Boston Braves in 1952 and quickly made a name for himself with his powerful hitting and extraordinary skills at third base. Mathews played a total of 17 seasons in the major leagues and represented the Braves through their moves from Boston to Milwaukee and eventually Atlanta. He also played for the Houston Astros and the Detroit Tigers before retiring in 1968.

A key figure in Braves history, Mathews was part of the legendary 1957 Milwaukee Braves team that won the World Series. Alongside Hank Aaron, Mathews formed a formidable duo that powered the team to victory. His impressive career statistics include 2,315 hits, 512 home runs, 1,453 runs batted in (RBIs), and a lifetime batting average of .271.

Throughout his career, Eddie Mathews was recognized for his exceptional performances with various accolades. He was a nine-time All-Star, a two-time World Series champion (1957 and 1968), and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978. His jersey number, 41, was retired by the Atlanta Braves in 1969, paying tribute to his outstanding contributions to the team.

The 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews Card

The 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews card, featuring the young slugger in his rookie season, is one of the most prized possessions for baseball card collectors. It is part of the second series of the 1952 Topps set, which is often considered one of the most significant baseball card sets of all time. The set is also renowned for featuring the iconic Mickey Mantle card, which is often regarded as the Holy Grail of baseball cards.

The 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews card, numbered 407, is the last card in the set, which adds to its rarity and value. It features a portrait of Mathews in his Braves cap, displaying a calm yet focused expression that hints at the determination and skill he would bring to the sport. The card's design showcases a vivid mix of colors, with the Braves' logo prominently displayed alongside Mathews' name and position.

In addition to its eye-catching design, the 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews card is highly sought after due to its rarity. As the final card in the set, it was printed in lower quantities than other cards, which makes it harder to find in top condition. Moreover, it was common for children in the 1950s to stack their cards and attach them with a rubber band, causing significant wear and tear on the first and last cards in the set.

The Value of the 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews Card

The value of the 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews card depends on its condition and the grading assigned by professional grading services such as PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), SGC (Sportscard Guaranty), and Beckett Grading Services. Pristine cards that have been well-preserved over the years can fetch a premium price, especially if they receive high grades from these grading services. For example, a PSA 8 (near-mint/mint) graded 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews card can be worth anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000. In 2017, a PSA 9 (mint) graded card sold at auction for a staggering $120,000, showcasing the immense value attributed to this card in top condition.

However, most 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews cards that have survived the test of time are in varying degrees of lower condition due to factors such as handling, storage, and exposure to the elements. Even cards with lower grades, such as a PSA 4 (very good/excellent) or PSA 5 (excellent), can still command prices in the range of $2,000 to $6,000. For collectors, the opportunity to own this piece of baseball history is often worth the investment, regardless of the card's condition.

A significant aspect of the card's value lies in its historical and sentimental appeal. The card captures a young Eddie Mathews at the beginning of his illustrious career, providing a snapshot of a player who would go on to become one of the greatest third basemen in the history of the game. Furthermore, the 1952 Topps set itself is emblematic of a golden era in baseball, featuring other legendary players such as Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Jackie Robinson.

The 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews card is more than just a collectible; it is a tangible piece of baseball history that represents the life and achievements of a legendary player. As one of the most valuable and sought-after cards in the hobby, it continues to captivate collectors and fans alike with its vivid design, rarity, and connection to an era that produced some of the most iconic figures in the sport.

Eddie Mathews left an indelible mark on baseball, not just through his impressive career statistics and accolades but through his passion for the game and his unwavering determination. The 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews card serves as a testament to his legacy and will forever be cherished by collectors and enthusiasts as a symbol of one of the game's all-time greats.

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